Life Goes On?

Life goes on, they say. I’m having a hard time adopting that motto these days. I’m finding it hard to go on with my usual daily routine in light of the tragedy we once again were faced with in the deaths of innocent children and their teachers in a school in Texas this week.

I’m mired in sadness and a fiery anger in my belly that I don’t know what to do with. I can’t just pray and move on this time.

Uncharacteristically, I emailed my Wisconsin senators. I don’t usually do that because I really don’t think it makes any difference, but it was a concrete thing I could do to release some anger. I’m not well versed in the history of gun control legislation or the state of mental health facilities across the nation, so I couldn’t argue real intelligently, but I could argue emotionally. I begged that they would take the time to see how the collective spirit of the American people is in pain and the helpless feeling we all have when these tragedies occur and life goes on. I can’t say I felt any better after pressing the send button.

I forced myself to watch the national news and look at the faces of those sweet children and their teachers. I cried and my belly burned. As I prayed, I couldn’t look God in the face. I was a bit miffed to be honest.

This morning as I was pondering it all, the refrain of a church song popped into my head. The song is called We Remember and the last line of the refrain is “We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

I felt those words as God’s olive branch. A help for me and my belly. The prescription for how to move forward.

Take the time throughout this Memorial Day weekend to remember not only those who lost their lives in service to our country but those who lost their lives just being children or teachers. Remember the faces. Remember the families.

Celebrate the ten-year-olds and the teachers you know. I have a front row seat in the lives of both.

Our grandson, James just turned ten.  The age of most of the children we lost this week. With those double digits comes a double life. By day, they are feisty, opinionated, seemingly self-confident, and brutally honest (James told me I should brush my hair as we were Face Timing yesterday.) But by night, in the shadows of the nightlight, their growing hands are wrapped around a frayed and faded blankie or the neck of a less than stuffed, stuffed animal. They are coming into their own but still hanging on. Celebrate the children you know!

Our son and his wife are teachers. They have shown me that teaching is not just a profession, at least for the good ones. It is a calling. There is a passion and a purpose that enables and empowers them to stay the course and endure sacrifices. Sometimes to the end.  Celebrate the teachers you know!

And finally, believe that God really does care and really is in this. Call on whatever vestiges of faith you have and ask the Holy Spirit to flame that floundering faith into a burning truth. The truth that good will prevail. That is a promise. Believe the promises of God.

In the end that is the only way life can or should go on.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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